Hit hard by the economic downturn, a group of construction companies in Northern Ireland are considering establishing a foothold in Eastern Europe and the Bulgarian market in particular, the Bulgarian news agency, BTA, has reported.They consist of more than half of the firms who are initiating a one-week trade mission in Bulgaria and Romania starting today - May 11. The task force is made up of 25 firms in total, who have concentrated their attention on developing markets in Eastern Europe. Some of them are involved with the retail of construction material, others with recycling it - two prominent industrial activities in Northern Ireland's economy.Representatives from the group believe that Bulgaria and Romania have great possibilities for the future. "Bulgaria and Romania are benefiting a lot from investment emanating from the EU and the subsequent modernisation of their economies. And we, in turn, can envisage a lucrative potential," said Vicky Kell, one of the mission's organisers."Bulgaria and Romania have benefited from substantial investments in infrastructure overhaul and development and in the creation of modernised production technologies, telecommunications improvement, transport, energy production and protection of the environment," Kell said. "Investments poured into infrastructural projects in Bulgaria alone amount to more than eight billion euro," she said.